Plato’s reading suggestions, episode 72

Here it is, our regular Friday diet of suggested readings for the weekend:

‘Brand consultant’? ‘PR researcher’? Why the ‘bullshit jobs’ era needs to end.

Hypocrisy is a limited measure of moral failing, we need better ones.

Critical thinking instruction in humanities reduces belief in pseudoscience.

How Aristotle created the computer (well, okay, indirectly of course).

A very bizarre article about how science will chemically “improve” love and relationships.

The Academy’s (alleged) assault on intellectual diversity.

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229 thoughts on “Plato’s reading suggestions, episode 72

  1. I think Krauthammer has had some influence with both Reagan and GWB. I can’t resist a conspiracy theory: the Repubs had to take a dive with their own version to save face, so Trump can take an action that he has actually favored in the past (maybe long past, he’s said a lot of things).

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  2. Massimo and Dan (especially)–in regard to campus politics–I don’t know if you are Simpsons fans–but even if you aren’t–please find and watch tonight’s episode!

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  3. I thought the reason for the ban on relationships between students and faculty was not to treat students like children, but to make faculty act like adults.

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  4. ” He’s not personally arguing for single-payer, but is saying he thinks its probably inevitable. In other words, he’s talking “acceptance” and not “endorsement.’”

    One wonders how many other ideas currently out beyond the pale, with implacable forces arrayed against them, are ultimately inevitable. Given some of the most powerful institutions and beliefs today are looking increasingly hollow, it might be worth considering what is outside the mainstream.
    Think Sanders, if the idea seems too outre’.

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  5. Michael,

    I dont’ have time to find it now, but I read a really moving article about this a few years ago by a woman faculty, who haa married a former graduate student of hers. And she made a compelling case that human relations are what they are. So long as there is no conflict of interest or power play (she immediately excused herself from his committee, etc.) then what, exactly, is the problem?

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  6. I married the wife of a former professor–at an era when professors also dated and married their students (my ex- would also know a lot about that if you get what I mean). None of it ended well, particularly for me. But I learned my lesson at least. One and done. So the last 30 years I have kept my professional life and personal life quite, quite separate.

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  7. Alan: Not sure what the point is supposed to be regarding professional life. Given how much time people spend at work, it would be exceedingly surprising if a lot of existing relationships did not involve the people one met in that context.

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  8. My point is only about my life. I made a huge mistake in my 20s that still reverberates to my 60s as my marriage ended up robbing me of lots of opportunities–from children to part of my retirement (check your state laws about pensions as community property in the case of divorce! At least I salvaged most of that.) Our profession is one where the power differential of professor to student–even former students–skews perceptions about one another. I wish people who have met and had good relationships under these circumstances nothing but the best. But as for me, marrying in the context of my philosophical career was nothing but misery.

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  9. Alan,

    I’m sorry for your experience. There are, however, positive stories as well, and of course it’s hard to say whether your marriage went the way it did because of the power differential or something else. And similar situations can and do occur at other jobs, outside of academia. It simply seems hopeless to me for society to want to govern what adults do with their feelings. I also made the decision of not getting involved with anyone at work, students, mentors or colleagues, but others should be free to make different decisions according to their judgments.

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  10. I don’t disagree at all Massimo. But stories like mine are only meant as anecdotal info to better inform the big picture. Professors need to see themselves first and foremost as trustees of students who deserve the best education they can deliver–and no more. They should not slide into the delusions of grandeur that often follow the accolades of good performance we see in film actors–and that we have seen in prominent instances in our profession, and there is trickle-down of that, especially among male professors.

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  11. Alan: “But as for me, marrying in the context of my philosophical career was nothing but misery.”

    I believe Socrates had a similar story.

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